Nelvana of the Northern Lights is a seminal piece of Canadian popular cultural history that has been, with the exception of the stamp seen above, almost completely forgotten. This is because despite being one of the first female superheroes in comics and a key figure in the golden age (when American imports of “luxury goods” such as comics were banned) of Canadian comics, Nelvana has never been reprinted, collected, or reissued in any form. Since their original publication in 1941-46, the rights to Adrian Dingle’s creation have simply languished, unused, for decades.
Enter Hope Nicholson and Rachel Richey, two comics historians with a passion for Canadian comics. While researching a documentary on Canadian comics (Lost Heroes), they stumbled across the opportunity to purchase the rights to Nelvana and now they’re looking to secure funding to get the reprint happening. In the first few days of their Kickstarter, it’s been incredibly successful, and deservedly so. After a week, they had more than funded the entire project! The enthusiasm for Nelvana surpassed my expectations, and I couldn’t be happier. Fantastic incentives like art prints–or, if you’re fancy, the originals!–by Jeff Lemire, Francis Manapul, Ray Fawkes, and others (all created specifically for this campaign), a calendar (featuring the art prints), and the comics themselves in digital, paperback, or hardcover formats sweeten the deal.
Hope and Rachel were nice enough to come on the podcast to tell us more about Nelvana and her place in Canadian comics history. You can stream the interview in its entirety below, or you can hear it in next episode, coming on October 24. And make sure you get your pledge in before the end of October! If you’re late to the party, you can always keep an eye out for Nelvana on store shelves in 2014!